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Fagundes: Suppliers helping meet demand

While grocery stores are running low on basic food necessities like milk, eggs, bread, and some meat products, local stores are trying to fill the gap by catering to customers the same way they always have.

According to Frank Teixeira at Fangundes Meats and Catering, the number of customers coming in and ordering large bulk meat packs has increased significantly in the last few days, as has the number of people coming in to buy meat after striking out at local grocery stores.

Residents reported that Costco and other large chain stores were out of specific meat products that they were searching for in order to feed their families on Wednesday – hamburger meat and chicken, specifically – and Teixeira said that the counter at his longtime Manteca establishment will likely remain stocked with meat for the foreseeable future.

“Our suppliers have been doing a great job in delivering what we need to take care of our customers, and our meat counter is full right now,” Teixeira said. “We’re doing things a little bit different – we’re limiting the number of people that can come into the store, and when we reach that limit, we have the other people wait outside – but we’re here and open and plan on staying open.”

While business insiders have reported in the last few days that the status of the American food supply is safe even amidst the pandemic and the short supply is being created by panic buying, Teixeira noted that some customers – particularly those that are coming in to buy bulk packs of meat that they can store in their freezer – may wait a little bit longer than they’re used to for the orders to be delivered and process.

Same day purchased are available, he said, but residents may have to wait a few days for their bulk orders to be filled. Earlier this week the store announced that they had sold out of their bulk meat packs but will open up orders later this week in order to meet the rising demand.

“There may be some additional processing time, but we’re grateful for all of our suppliers that have helped keep us fully stocked,” Teixeira said. “We’ve developed a relationship with a lot of these companies over the last 41 years, and while there may be some processing delays from the facilities as everybody is trying to get meat, we’re expecting that we’ll be able to meet the demand.”

Grocery stores that are typically open for 24 hours like Food-4-Less and Winco have announced that they will be closing overnight in the wake of the business crush to restock stores, and over the last several days have opened to long lines of customers that line up hours before the store opens to ensure that they get the groceries that they need. Some on social media reported waits of several hours only to gain access to the store and find that even with limits, essential items are in short supply if they’re available at all.

Fagundes Meats and Catering is located at 142 Jason Street, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 209.239.4184.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.